We all know that life sometimes can become unbearable. We may feel that everything is falling apart around us.

Work, money, family, friends… all these things can contribute to the stress of life. When you feel that your whole world is falling apart, you have to learn how to stop and evaluate the situation.

It’s not easy, but it’s possible if you do the right things.

Take time to pray

Or, if it is not something you apply, you can spend some time in your day to focus on your positive energy. You will be surprised how much calmer and concentrated you feel by forcing yourself to devote a minute to focus on all the positive energy around you and within you.

Worry less

Worrying creates anxiety and makes it hard to do what you need to do. Try to focus on the steps needed to be taken to fix any problem or challenge that has arisen. If you have lost your job, worrying about how to pay your bills will not make more money to your bank account.

Instead of worrying, make a plan on how to go ahead. Put all your energy and do not let yourself sink into negativity.

Pain is temporary

No matter what you are going through right now, be it money problems, family problems or emotional collapse, remember that the pain you feel is temporary. Remember that you have not always felt that way, and you will be able to handle it more easily, instead of letting it crush you.

The problems of others are not your responsibility

When you feel that your own life is burdened with a lot of issues, remember that you shouldn’t take the burden of other people’s problems. Being open and available to help others when they need is definitely a good thing. However, you have to make sure that you set limits and you do not allow other people’s problems to become your responsibility, especially when you have serious problems yourself.

Move forward

When you feel your life is falling apart, the only possible direction is to move forward. Even when it seems impossible for you, you have to remember that you can rise again and continue trying for the best. A failure on the road doesn’t mean that all your plans should be derailed. Life can be tough but you are stronger than the challenges it brings.

Cry

Sometimes, it’s OK to cry when you need it. When things go wrong or when sadness becomes overwhelming, it is natural to want to cry. To give in to your feelings does not make you weak. Often, you will find that once you let yourself let go and cry, it clears your mind and you are able to take the next logical step forward on your journey.

Look for the positive in every situation

When life is falling apart around you, it can be hard to keep seeing the positive side of a situation. Try to see the sun behind the clouds.

If you have a bad break up, try to see it as a new opportunity to find the right partner. If you lose your job, see it as a chance to re-start your life with a career you really love.

Do not let yourself sink into pessimism. A positive view can completely transform your life.

Feel gratitude

When things are falling apart, it can be hard to see what things in your life do not go wrong. Take a moment to think about the things in your life that are stable, and all that you are grateful for.

Your ability to think positively will help you see your problems from a different perspective. If you lost your job, be grateful for the people who support you. If you have family difficulties, take the time to appreciate your partner.

Everyone has problems

Sometimes, it’s relieving to know that you are not the only one facing challenges. Remind yourself that there are people who have gone through the same or worst storms than you, giving you the boost you need to move forward.

H/T: Flow Magazine

How to get in touch with your soul and become a happier person.

We can all agree that life on Earth is becoming more and more stressful as the years go by. In order not to go completely crazy, many people turn to their inner selves, seeking meditation and tranquillity so they could easily survive the hectic lives we lead in this century.

Here is the list of the best ways to get in touch with your inner being, and thus help yourself get rid of the stress the environment imposes on you every day:

Do the things you love and love the things you do

What’s a better way to reconnect with your soul than actually doing things that you love and enjoy? If you’re a bookworm, use your day to go somewhere quiet, take your favorite book with you and indulge in all the adventures with the characters. If, on the other hand, you love drawing, feel free to draw as much as you want. It is very important that we let ourselves do the things we love from time to time and completely forget about our responsibilities. Leave your phone behind, forget the world and make yourself happy.

Connect with nature

You know the cliché sentence ‘’your body’s a temple’’, right? Well, it’s true. And not only that – your soul is a forest that needs constant nurturing. It’s well-known how relaxing and healthy being in nature is, but apart from that, the greenness and fresh air can definitely put your life into perspective and open your mind, especially if you are anxious, nervous or blue. A great exercise that you could do in nature is just observing the beauty, listening to all the sounds, and smelling all the scents. It sharpens your senses, it quiets your mind. And it’s perfect.

Try yoga and meditation

Quite similar to the previous tip, yoga and meditation really help in calming yourself down. Yoga is not only good for de-stressing your body, but also for taking a break from the world around you in a calm and soothing way. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe. If you have scented candles, light them. Isolate yourself from the negative influences and people for at least an hour a day.

Dance

It’s impossible that Despacito didn’t make you dance at least once. You probably have a list of songs in mind that you just can’t be sitting down while listening to. That’s because music has a calming effect on our brain, and dancing to it relaxes your mind. If you are into hip-hop and street style dancing, it could be quite challenging and interesting to learn a few moves. And you should definitely do it; there are many beginner dance classes for adults out there, and who knows, maybe you’re the next Chris Brown!

Inhale love, exhale hate

This quite pacifistic approach to life can also do wonders. Don’t be a Carrie Bradshaw trying to find negativity everywhere (for God’s sake, she was unhappy even on her wedding day!) If you think about our time on Earth and how limited it is, you will see that life is too short for us to have negative feelings towards anything. Try to surround yourself with the people and things you love and leave everything else behind, without words or feelings of hate. Tell someone you love them at least once a day and always be thankful for the things you have.

Write down your thoughts

According to researchers from the University of Rochester, keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of the feelings you have, and a healthy way to dispose of negativity and reduce stress. Putting all your emotions on paper is a good way to get rid of them, and thus go to bed with a clean slate and clear mind. On the other hand, reading old positive motivational quotes can also alleviate your spirit. If you read an entry that was made while you were extremely happy, those feelings might come back even years later.

Yes, your body is a temple and your mind and soul are the forest surrounding that temple. Keep them clean and nurtured, don’t infest them with negativity and you will see how happier a person you will be.

One of my clients, who recently started a new relationship, asked me a very insightful question:

“How can you tell whether your partner is in love with you or they’re just emotionally dependent? What red flags should I look for?”

There are numerous red flags to look for, but in order to see them, you have to have done your inner work so that you are not vulnerable to these flattering behaviors. If you haven’t learned to deeply value and love yourself, then you might be drawn in by these red-flag behaviors. Here are some warning signs to be on the lookout for:

– Comes on very strong at the beginning of the relationship, wanting to spend an inordinate amount of time with you.

– Doesn’t respect your limits—such as boundaries on how often you see each other or how often you text or talk on the phone. Tries to monopolize your time.

– Can be very charming but doesn’t listen well to you and isn’t tuned in to your feelings. May try to make you feel that your feelings or your position is wrong.

– Sexually demanding and attaches their worth to having sex. Needs sex to feel validated.

– Gets angry, withdrawn, or pouty when you don’t do what they want you to do. Not open to learning from relationship conflict.

– You feel “pulled on,” i.e., you feel an energy from them that is pulling on you to take responsibility for their feelings. You sense an emptiness in them—a black hole that pulls on you to fill it up.

– Has an abusive background and has not healed from their past.

– Has abandoned their children.

– Participates in addictions that are unacceptable to you—smoking, drinking, drugs, addictive eating, gambling, TV, and so on. Uses various addictions to fill emptiness.

– They are not truthful—you catch them in lies or withholding the truth.

– Has few friends.

– Is judgmental of him-/herself and others. Talks about him-/herself and others in disparaging ways.

– Is possessive and jealous. Gets upset when you do your own thing.

– Has few interests and hobbies.

Knowing the difference comes down to trusting your feelings.

This is not a conclusive list. Really, what it comes down to is trusting your own feelings. Our feelings are a reliable inner guidance system, letting us know what is right or wrong for us, good or bad for us. If something doesn’t feel right inside, then it isn’t right for you. No matter how good things look on the outside or how much this person professes their love for you, if you can’t feel that love or you feel a pull from that person or an emptiness inside them, you need to trust yourself more than you trust what they say or even how they act.

Many of us have been taught to NOT trust our feelings, which is very sad. From the time I was little, I was taught that I couldn’t possibly know what was right or wrong for me. I was taught that others knew better than I did what was good or bad for me. This is one of the major disservices our society has done to children. When we lose trust in ourselves, we can easily be controlled by others—by parents or teachers, religion or government, or by a partner in a relationship.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to do the inner work of learning to trust your feelings. Our good feelings of peace, joy, and fullness let us know that we are in alignment with what is right and good for us and that we are being loving to ourselves and others, and our difficult feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, emptiness, aloneness, jealousy, and so on are letting us know that we are abandoning ourselves in some way—being unloving to ourselves and others.

If you want to know the truth about whether someone loves you or is emotionally dependent on you, learn to trust what you feel inside. Your inner guidance system will let you know whether you are loving yourself or abandoning yourself and whether another is being loving or unloving to you.

This article was originally published on Mind Body Green.

About the author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals and couples since 1968. She is the author/co-author of eight books, including the internationally best-selling Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by God? She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, as well as on the unique and popular website Inner Bonding and of the transformational self-healing/conflict-resolution software program SelfQuest®. Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding course. Join Dr. Margaret for her unique and powerful 30-Day at-home courses: Love Yourself, Loving Relationships, Attracting Your Beloved, and Frequency.

The Human Mind is a wonderful masterpiece that has immense potentials. Most of the potentials, however, remain unused at most people, since it is not us who are in charge of things, our Mind takes control of us. Our Mind is rushing through life with us like a car running without a driver, causing us constant suffering and sorrow. But if we were able to control our Mind, our life would change completely. This mad speeding would change into a beautiful, creative dance, giving us happiness, instead of pain. The question is therefore, how we are able to take control over our Mind?

The Nature of the Mind

In order to control something, we first need to know the thing concerned¸ so we must know our Mind so as to be in charge of it. The most important thing we need to about our Mind is that it is not something that exists separately, individually, like some inanimate object. The Mind is not an object–it is a process. The process of constantly streaming thoughts. This stream of the thoughts is what we perceive as the Mind. When these thoughts disappear, the Mind disappears with them, as the two are only able to exist together. The very basic nature of thoughts is that they are in a constant move, and this motion, almost automatically, creates the Mind.

A characteristic feature of our Mind is that it keeps roaming, wandering; it operates in something like an automatic mode. Thoughts come and go all the time. If we attempt to suppress them, it is only possible with considerable efforts, and even then to a short time only. In most of our waking time, our Mind wanders either in the past or in the future, in our thoughts we deal with our experience of the past, offences we suffered in the past, or with our future plans, goals and fears.

Another characteristic of our Mind is that it constantly evaluates things. It means that we do not simply live through our experiences, but we also categorize them as good or bad. We judge everything that happens to us and everybody we meet in our lives. This permanent categorization may easily lead to a distorted perception of the world, as we evaluate our new experiences in these categories. If we find an experience negative, we will tend to keep–and reinforce–that category for similar experiences in the future. Our perception will therefore be selective, and we will only accept the stimuli that reinforces our categorization, and we tend to ignore those that fall outside our usual categories.

The third important characteristic of the Mind is that it permanently produces stories. These stories often have a disastrous end. For instance, I suddenly try to remember whether I locked the door of my home or not. The Mind immediately fabricates a whole story around the idea: I did leave it open, a burglar came, my valuables have been stolen, and the police, instead of chasing the thief, will harass me with their questions. We often experience the ends and emotional consequences of these stories. Another type of stories deals with us, who are we, what are we like, what we should do or should have done. The entirety of these stories comprises our personal histories.

A Foolish Game

Most people tend to identify with their thoughts and personal histories, that is, with their Minds. A lot of us are not satisfied with what we are, and we would like to have a better and more beautiful personal history. That is why we create a mental image of our desired personal development, and the ways of making the work of our Minds more effective.

In order to achieve the mental image we ourselves have created, we embark on a foolish game, as we attempt to bring our Minds under our own control, and be the masters of our own development. Since we do not know the nature of the Mind, this venture is destined to failure right from the beginning.

This game is foolish, since in fact one half of the Mind attempts to bring the other half under control. Our Mind itself deems our own mental image of our personal development good. At the same time, this half of the Mind deems the other half, the one we wish to change, bad. Mental images fight against each other, trying to overcome each other, using the weapons of selective perception and story fabrication. The struggle goes on, with changing luck, all through our lives. Sometimes we believe that we are making some progress, we are improving, and a few weeks, months or years later we drop into the abyss of despair.

A lot of us play this foolish game all through our lives, because we are unable to recognize the simple fact that a Mind is unable to overcome itself. We may, perhaps, with the utmost effort, suppress what we believe is bad in us. That is, however, just a virtual victory, leading us to virtual calm and personal development, because when our power declines, the suppressed forces break out again, destroying all the temporary results that we achieved previously, washing away the results of our personal development.

The Freedom of Tolerance

Now we can see that the way leading to our control over our Minds does not lead through suppressing them. It is not possible to control the Mind in the ordinary sense of the word. Partly because it only exists in its functions and operation, and partly because there is nobody to control it. One half of the Mind, as we have seen, does not control, only suppresses the other half.

In order to be able to control our Minds, we must step outside of them. This statement may sound surprising to a lot of us, since we tend to fully identify with our Minds and their operations. As long as this identification is strong, we shall not be able to step outside the crazy dance of our Minds; we will have to merely suffer its consequences.

Nowadays, however, more and more of us begin to realize and experience that we are more than our Minds, more that our thoughts and emotions, and the personal history these thoughts and emotions build up. Our attention is no longer completely engaged by telling our personal history and identifying with that personal history, and we become more and more sensitive to the deeper dimensions of our life. We also begin to notice the breaks between thoughts, and we begin to turn towards these gates leading beyond the Mind.

In these breaks between thoughts, Mind does not work, it is not there–it simply vanishes. What is left there is the alertly watching Consciousness. If we are able to take roots in that alert Consciousness, we recognize that this watching alertness is tolerant with the Mind and its operations. We shall see that there is nothing wrong with thoughts, nothing wrong with the operations of the Mind. It is not necessary to struggle against the Mind, as it is not an enemy, only an instrument that, without control, tends to function chaotically.

We only have a chance to know the true nature of thoughts and the functions of the Mind if we detach ourselves from them, keep a distance, and do not consider them as enemies. They will reveal their secrets to the alert Consciousness, watching with affection, and we will see the subtle shades of the Mind, the games it plays and the dreams it evokes.

Controlling the Mind

This tolerant, alert, watching attitude to the functions of the Mind will give us the ability of stopping our thinking effortlessly. Once thinking has been suspended, the continuous stream of thoughts stops, the Mind itself disappears and stops working.

Now we shall not seek our own identity in an identification with the Mind, since we have found our real center, our real self, our alertly watching Consciousness. We will be aware that thoughts and the Mind have not really disappeared, they are still there, only in a dormant state. Our attitude to thoughts and the Mind will entirely change at that moment. We think when necessary, and we do not need the Mind, we put it aside. The Mind no longer dominates our life, it is not more than an obedient tool that we use or not use as we please.

That is when we realize how wonderful an instrument the Mind is, and now we are able to use it for its original purpose. And the purpose of the Mind is to serve as a means of connections, to connect us to the world, to each other. Through the Mind, used with alert Consciousness, creative energies are released to the world, and create a wonderful harmony there.

Original source: The Mind Unleashed

Learn more here>> Frank M. WandererThe Revolution of Consciousness: Deconditioning the Programmed Mind

Four reasons why being mean to others is a product of insecure self-esteem.

People in general, are social beings in need of positive relationships. So, we can easily understand the motives we have to get along well with other people. In fact, there would be no possibility for our society to exist if historically people did not cooperate and get along with each other to a large extent.

However, very often they deliberately harm each other.

Why is this happening? Why do people sometimes want to hurt and harm others?

Decades of research prove that behind the popular belief that people become mean to others in order to feel better about themselves, there is a great truth.

1. Positive Distinctiveness

The social identity theory argues that people have a basic psychological need for “positive distinctiveness”. In other words, people have a positively determined need to feel unique with respect to others around them. By their nature, they tend to form groups, this need for positive distinction extends to the groups they belong to.

That is, they tend to see the groups that belong to them more favorably than the groups they do not belong to. And therefore, they tend to see people who are not part of a group less positively than those who belong somewhere else.

Also, this is especially likely to happen when there is competition between groups or when people feel that their group’s identity is being tested or challenged.

Studies that have been conducted to examine this belief find that people generally show signs of favoritism for their group, and in addition, their self-esteem and positive feelings towards their group are positively enhanced when other members are deleted from the group and are considered as “intruders.”

2. Disadvantageous Comparisons

Social comparison theory suggests that people by nature compare themselves to other people and that these comparisons can often make us feel worse or better for ourselves. As we generally prefer to feel good, we are prone to making comparisons that will allow us to see other people as inferior to us.

In addition, research based on this theory also supports the idea that people are more negative towards others when they feel that they have offended or underestimated them and that they can feel better about themselves and help in the rehabilitation of their self-esteem.

An example of this can be given in a study that when they told the participants that they were not attractive, using fake feedback, rated others, not only as less attractive but also as less intelligent and polite. Summing up, when participants felt offended, they were more likely to degrade others.

3. Classic Projection

Freud claimed decades ago that people felt good about themselves and their flaws when they believed that other people had the same negative characteristics as them. Basically, supposing you feel dishonest, then you are more likely to see other people as dishonest, and that makes you in a sense feel more honest from them.

There are several studies that support this idea. In a study, when they told some participants that they had high levels of internal anger, they believed that other people were also angry and in this way, they felt they did not have a lot of anger inside them.

4. The Threat of “Ego”

Psychologists have discovered that when our self-esteem is threatened, we show a lot of aggression. In other words, in general, it doesn’t matter if people feel good or bad about themselves. What matters is that at the moment they attack, they feel worse about themselves than they usually do.

This field of research has found that threatened self-esteem is associated with a wide range of increased aggressive behaviors. For example, when people feel offended, as opposed to being valued, they are quite likely to make offensive comments to another person.

Conclusion

Whether it’s about promoting our groups or ourselves, we tend to be more aggressive when our self-esteem is being challenged and when we do not have quite positive feelings for ourselves.

When our self-esteem is threatened then it’s possible to compare ourselves with people who we think are worse, to see that they have more negative characteristics than us in order to downgrade people who are not members of our groups, and to express more direct aggression towards people in general.

Insult, devaluation or criticism of other people can reveal more about how you feel about yourself than the character of the other person.

Insecurity for ourselves is largely responsible for the cruelty that exists today in society.

H/T: Psychology Today

(Photo credits: Can Stock Photo)